Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Hoop House is Up!

Hey everyone! Check it out! Ed finished the hoop house! As you may imagine, this represents a major accomplishment for our future farm. With a lot of persistence and ingenuity, we now have the equivalent of an enormous cold frame for hardening off our seedling plants. So far, the placement of the hoop house at the southern end of the shop has proven to be a wise bit of planning; the shop protects the structure from southerly winds, and we get the maximum benefit of summer solar heating.

We have been anticipating spring with tortured longing this year; Even though the daylight hours are waxing, temperatures in our area have steadfastly averaged out around 50 F with night time temperatures dropping down as low as 15. Self-conscious about our Flatlander status, we retained an almost British "stiff upper lip" when discussing the weather with locals. As it turned out, our stoic efforts were returned with unbridled exasperation about the ongoing cold and wind. It seems Vermont natives have had enough, too. Bonding discussion of the presence of blooms, higher temperatures, and wearing fewer than three layers of clothes have ensued. So good to know that we're all in this together.

Few times of the year say "carpe diem!" like early spring, though. Hints of green in the landscape outside mean more vigorous industry at the homestead. Our goal to sell our vegetables at the 2009 Rutland Farmer's Market draws ever closer. Although certain crops benefit from being started in a warm germination shed, there are cool weather vegetables that thrive from direct seeding in the field. This past week saw Ed plowing like a nut to break ground for new planting beds and rows. Both of us were jointly engaged in planting seed for snow peas, mizuna, 4 varieties of carrots, 6 varieties of lettuce, 2 types of broccoli, 3 types of kale, chard, 2 types of arugula and a completely new crop mountain orach (it's so cool: it's magenta!). Then Ed made the encouraging discovery that some plants (mache and lettuce) that he shielded from the snows with row covers survived the winter! Makes us think we might be getting the hang of this; more news from the front soon.

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